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IPL 2018: Match 49, KKR vs RR, Preview- Can Kolkata halt the Buttler blizzard in decisive mid table clash?

Both teams would be itching to get another victory under their belt.

Kolkata Knight Riders Dinesh Karthik
Kolkata Knight Riders. (Photo by IANS)

The eleventh edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is nearing the playoffs and has a handful of matches remaining in the league stage. However, apart from the Sunrisers Hyderabad, the remaining qualifiers are yet to be decided. Kolkata Knight Riders and the Rajasthan Royals are in the race for a berth in the top-four and will be pitted against each other tomorrow at the Eden Gardens.

The Royals, after their third consecutive victory, are brimming with confidence. The franchise will be keen to keep their winning streak intact and get their foot in the subsequent stage of the tournament. Dinesh Karthik’s men, who will be playing their final round-robin match at their home-ground before they move to Hyderabad, have a task in their hands to cut short Rajasthan’s surge.

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Last time around, the Knights got the better of RR at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur. Moreover, the teams will wish to escalate their respective net run-rates, which may turn out to be a crucial factor, provided the teams are locked on equal points. The pitch at the venue has been a sporting one thus far and the encounter is expected to be a thrilling one.

Toss: KKR won the toss and elected to field first

Rajasthan Royals (Playing XI): Jos Buttler(w), Ajinkya Rahane(c), Sanju Samson, Ben Stokes, Rahul Tripathi, Stuart Binny, Jofra Archer, Krishnappa Gowtham, Jaydev Unadkat, Ish Sodhi, Anureet Singh

Kolkata Knight Riders (Playing XI): Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine, Robin Uthappa, Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik(w/c), Nitish Rana, Shubman Gill, Javon Searles, Prasidh Krishna, Shivam Mavi, Kuldeep Yadav

Ajinkya Rahane, RR Captain: Really happy to bat first. It’s a do-or-die for both the teams. We are happy to put a score on the board. Ish Sodhi, Anureet Singh, and Rahul Tripathi come in.

Dinesh Karthik, KKR Captain: Going to bowl first. We have chased a lot so we’d like to stick to that. Two good teams competing aagainst each other, so we’d like to continue what we have been doing. Piyush Chawla has a side-strain and is sitting out, and Shivam Mavi comes in.

Team Combination  

Kolkata Knight Riders

KKR are likely to go unchanged for the all-important encounter. Chris Lynn and Sunil Narine remain as their openers. Robin Uthappa hasn’t been in the best of nicks and needs to fire. Dinesh Karthik, Kolkata’s leading run scorer, have to come to the party as well. Moreover, Andre Russell’s power-hitting abilities will be one to watch out for. Shubman Gill and Nitish Rana have a job to their bit.

The bowlers have been a tad disappointing but somewhat redeemed themselves by restricting Punjab in Indore. The spin trio of Sunil Narine, Kuldeep Yadav and Piyush Chawla have to be on their mark. Javon Searles was impressive in the last match and Kolkata might persist with the all-rounder. There isn’t any element of doubt surrounding Russell’s role as a fast-bowler.

Rajasthan Royals

The Royals are highly unlikely to make changes to their eleven. Jos Buttler will be keen to get his sixth half-century on the trot or even more, such has been his form. D’Arcy Short hasn’t had an overwhelming campaign thus far. Ajinkya Rahane looked good against MI but would be disappointed having not been able to see his team home. Sanju Samson and Krishnappa Gowtham are the in-form batsmen.

Jofra Archer has been their gun bowler and hopes will again be pinned on him to make inroads into the opponents’ batting lineup. Jaydev Unadkat and Dhawal Kulkarni are the other two pacers who have to support Archer. Gowtham and Shreyas Gopal need to play their part as well. Above all, RR will hope for Ben Stokes to fire on all cylinders in both the departments.

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Players to watch out for

Sunil Narine- Kolkata Knight Riders

Sunil Narine has arguably been one of KKR’s most prolific performers. He notched his highest-score of 75 in Indore and also went on to pick KL Rahul’s wicket. The Knight Riders’ bowling attack has come under the pump on several occasions and Narine has to stand, provided the other bowlers go for runs. Their score inside the power-play score will also depend on how well this guy bats.

Jos Buttler- Rajasthan Royals

Buttler equalled Virender Sehwag’s record for the most number of consecutive half-centuries (5) in the IPL. In the next match, he not only has the chance of breaking the record but also stands a chance to equal Jacques Kallis’ record of most number consecutive Player of the Match award (4). RR will again look up to the Englishman to play yet another substantial knock.

Head to Head

Played 16, KKR- 7, RR- 7, NR/Tie- 2

Broadcast details

TV– Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 HD, Star Sports 1 Hindi, Star Jalsha (Bengali), Star Maa Movies (Telegu), Star Sports Tamil

Live Streaming– Hotstar & YuppTv

Match Timings: 20:00 IST, 14:30 GMT

For more cricket news and other stories, visit Crictracker.com.

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